I have been lucky enough to send some quick questions to LIFE OF AGONY’s lead singer Mina Caputo during their latest German Tour (they’ll hit England in March, folks). Maybe some of you will think LIFE OF AGONY’s music is more about alternative metal/alternative rock and depressive lyrics than strickly positive hardcore punk (no kidding), anyway I’ve been into this band for ages right now, and I’ve always felt similar things while listening to both LOA’s albums and hxc punk records, probably because of Mina’s talented way of dealing with depression & loneliness, fighting with her personal life and choices which is a situation which requires guts. Thus, despite what you may think about LIFE OF AGONY, this is a hella positive band!
Hi Mina thanks a lot for your time! First things first: how are you and how do you feel about this upcoming tour; you’ve already done several Euro festivals with LIFE OF AGONY before the release of “Broken Valley” and were at Graspop Metal Meeting in Dessel, Belgium in late June, are you excited to come back another time to the Old Continent?
Mina: We love our fams in Europe. The vibe,the energy, etc… Writing from the road now. Tonight is the last night. It’s been a smash as usual.
Is playing in Europe really different from playing in the US? Do you think the Euro audience, for example their feelings and returns after LOAs performances, are different from the US audience?
People give us love and support wherever we wind up. We are beyond comparing who’s better than who.
A few months ago I was so stocked to stare at The 2015 East Coast Tsunami Fest flyer, featuring such different and great artists/bands as, of course, LOA but also the WU-TANG CLAN, MOBB DEEP, MADBALL, CROWN OF THORNZ, MURPHY’S LAW, INDECISION, The Eddie LEEWAY Show and more contemporary bands like TURNSTILE or ANGEL DU$T (just to name a few). Which memories remain from this particular fest?
Which sets were just awesome?
Memories: Hanging out with SKAMDUST Danny Diablo, BIOHAZARD and MADBALL backstage.I only got to catch BIOHAZARD and MADBALL. They killed it.
By the way what’s your opinion about bands like TURNSTILE or ANGEL DU$T or, for example, TWITCHING TONGUES (I’m sure this band has been influenced by LOA)?
I don’t have an opinion because I never heard of these bands.
Guess they kinda embody the “new” face of American hardcore, what are the newer bands you like to listen to?
I’m still listening to Eno, ZEPPLIN, FLOYD, Bowie, Coltrane, THE STONES etc… Nothing like the bands I grew up listening to.
Every time I see footages or pictures of your live performances you always seem to be really close to the audience: for example, during this same Tsunami Fest you’re always standing in the front row, holding the mic out to someone and you even helped a guy to climb up on stage, let him hug and kiss you! Did you know that guy?
No I didn’t know him. The live performance is like sex to me. Ya gotta get intimate.
I guess LOA has always been dedicated to live performances; I mean, in a personal way, I can’t help thinking how important the entire “River Runs Red” record lyrics are important to me as an individual and I wish I attended just a single time in my entire life one of your live performances just to feel that link between you and all the people which have identified themselves to what you are singing. I guess it is something you’ve always wanted to look for playing in a rock band?
Healing people throught music has been and is a blessing we don’t take for granted. It’s a gift and opportunity to reach the core of yourself and the souls of others.
Speaking of “River Runs Red”, which is, of course, my all-time favorite LOAs record, can you tell me why, almost 23 years after its release on Roadrunners Records, this record is still important to you?
It’s important for me because it’s important for others. It’s the very first recording I’ve done in my late teens. But once an album is public domain, it becomes its own living being. That’s when I become completely detached from the work.
Why do you think people still love it?
Can’t speak for others!
Does it make you proud?
From “Ugly” (1995) to “Broken Valley” (2005), not to mention “Soul Searching Sun” (1997), LOAs sound just calm down, still surfing on alternative and maybe grunge waves (for example on “Soul Searching Sun”), with a more melodic way of singing (especially on “Broken Valley”) but my feeling about the lyrical process is the same: you deal with loneliness, sorrow, pain, loss of reference points… It’s all about a “life of agony”!
Do you think you’ve achieved something writing these different songs, these different records?
Growing is everything. Healing folks is a blessing. Who wants to stay the same?
Does it explain your different reunion shows, playing nothing but classic LIFE OF AGONY from 1993 to 2005?
We just get pleasure to give it.
Do you think you’ll write some new material one day?
A new album is being born. Yes.
Somehow, I feel you embody something more Bowie-esque than hardcore or “metal”, what’s your point about that?
Thank you. It’s the feminine artistic approach to life is all. People put labels on me. I’m everything and nothing.
By the way, even if I’m not surprised such douchebags live, I felt sorry about the insulting message someone sent you, the one you took a screenshot of and posted it on Instagram two weeks ago. I guess this kind of things happens frequently and makes you stronger but what would you advise to people who currently have to face these incredibly violent situation whereas, in my humble opinion, all they need is support?
Just love yourself. Never mind what others think. Focus on your own vibration. Caring about how you feel is priority. So care about feeling good.
Have you heard of this band from Olympia called G.L.O.S.S. (“Girls Living Outside Society’s Shit”)? It’s a transgender hardcore band, they put out several months ago my second favorite demo of 2015 and earlier this year, some stupid newbie hipster band tweeted something really insulting about them, saying they were “just a bunch of boys running around in panties making shitty music” (later on they tried to convince people it was their merch guy who posted that but who cares, this is stupid anyway…). How do you think people within the “underground music world” must react facing this kind of intolerant bullshit?
Never heard of em. People just need to love themselves and each other more and more and more and more. All we need is love to cleanse the veil of ignorance and fear.